Preparing for wild weather

Jared Beaman

As thunderstorm season ominously approaches, NSW State Emergency Service and NRMA have teamed up to launch their 2014/15 StormSafe program; an initiative that aims to minimise the risk to people and their possessions during severe weather events.

Storms often transpire suddenly and with very little warning. Often times, individuals can be caught off guard and not have time to make the necessary precaution to minimise weather damage.

The StormSafe program aims to raise the public’s understanding of the threats associated with storms. It also encourages everyone to take action to minimise the dangers to themselves, to others and to their possessions.

Although NSW SES is a proficient service when it comes to assisting people during natural disasters, local Liverpool Plains SES Controller Frank Turner explains that a little effort from communities can go a long way to reduce the chance of an emergency occurring in the first place.

To assist Liverpool Plains Shire residents in being prepared, Frank offers useful tips to prevent damage or injury from occurring during violent storms.

“Have a tidy up and secure items that might become missiles during a storm such as trampolines, garden furniture or toys,” suggests Frank. “Check your roof or get someone to check it for you. It is important to ensure your roof material is secure. Loose screws and nails or cracked and missing tiles mean the roof is not secure and could be damaged during a storm which may cause internal damage to your home and possessions.”

Frank explains that it is important to ensure gutters are kept clear in order to prevent water run over and subsequent internal building damage.

“Overflowing gutters can cause rain to flow into the house causing internal damage and a possible risk of ceiling collapse,” he said.

“Trim any tall trees that are closer than 20 metres to your house. Trees and branches falling on houses are a major cause of damage during the severe storms we experience in this area.”

Franks also outlines the importance of making a home emergency kit and checking that insurance is up to date.

“Seek advice from the NSWSES on their StormSafe website: or call your local SES for a brochure that will assist you to prepare,” he concluded.

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